The Long Road From Education to Career

PROVO, Utah – Apr 10, 2019 – As a child growing up in Recife, Brazil, Thiago Gomes, a finance major graduating in April 2019, never would have believed he would be studying in the BYU Marriott School of Business with a job offer in New York.

The path from Brazil to the United States originally looked far too daunting for Gomes, but after serving his mission in New Jersey, he knew that he wanted to get his education in the United States, specifically at BYU.

“Getting to BYU from Brazil wasn’t easy,” Gomes says. “I began studying engineering in Brazil and deferred so that when I got home from my mission, I could continue my education. But after serving in the States, I liked the United States so much that I decided to apply to school at BYU.”

After arriving at BYU, the next thing to figure out was if he should continue studying engineering or explore other majors. Gomes’ father is a real-estate broker back in Brazil, who according to Gomes didn’t see much success. His father’s lack of success made anything dealing with business seem too risky. It wasn’t until he met friends who were studying finance and accounting that Gomes was convinced that studying at BYU Marriott would be worth his time.

“Because I had no background in business, the process was long,” Gomes says. “After a lot of studying and prayer, I got into the program.”

Once Gomes was in the finance program, he had to figure out which of the seven tracks was best for him: consulting, corporate finance, equity, fixed income, investment banking, private wealth, or real estate.

“I was intimidated by everyone in the program, especially those studying investment banking,” Gomes says, “They are gung-ho about their careers and know exactly what they wanted to do, which gave me lot of anxiety about my own future.”

Gomes quickly felt that the people most like him were in the corporate finance track and decided to get an internship in that field. He was hired by HBE Computer Company but realized the work wasn’t for him. This experience ended up pushing him towards two wealth management internships. Gomes first interned for Merrill Lynch and later at JP Morgan, where he was offered a full-time position. The wealth management field interested him more than corporate finance; however, Gomes ultimately didn’t feel that wealth management was the right path for his career.

Gomes decided to decline the JP Morgan offer after graduation and instead began networking again. “I had no idea what to do,” Gomes says. “I just threw myself into different experiences and ended up finding something that I am passionate about.”

What he found was a job opportunity within alternative asset management. An alternative investment is an asset within private equity, hedge funds, managed futures, real estate, or other investments outside the usual stock or bond type. Gomes was offered a job in New York at BlackRock, a global investment managing company.  

After graduating in April, Gomes and his wife, Lizzy, will make the trek from Provo to New York. “There was a lot of trial and error, but I am happy about where I started, where I am now, and what my future looks like.”

Portrait of Thiago Gomes.
Thiago Gomes

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Caitlyn Alldredge